It’s high summer at the farmer’s market and the peaches are out in abundance. There are only so many peaches you can eat out of hand, but fortunately, they’re an easy fruit to hold on to. When you’re all done making peach crisps and cobblers, and you’ve even tried your hand at a peach-mango curry, and you’ve still got peaches, what do you do?
You capture the essence of summer to enjoy later in the year, of course!
Peaches lend themselves very well to freezing and preserving. When cooler weather hits, summon the memories of summer with a peach cobbler or pie made from peaches frozen at the height of the season.
To freeze peaches
- 5 large peaches
- 1 cup of juice (peach, apple, grape) or a simple syrup of 1 cup water and 1/3 cup of sugar, brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar
- Wash, peel and cut peaches into slices or chunks. To prevent discoloration, dip the pieces into a mixture of water and lemon juice.
- Mix the peaches and the juice/syrup, then ladle into freezer bags, squeezing out all the air before sealing.
- Label the bags and freeze.
Yield: about 1 quart of prepared peaches
That’s it. To use, simply place a bag in the refrigerator until it thaws. The sugar in the liquid helps prevent freezer burn and prolongs the texture, flavor and appearance of the fruit.
If you are into canning, why not dig up Grandma’s best Peach Preserves recipe and give it a go? Or get a little exotic and whip up a spicy peach chutney.
Peaches are a rather delicate fruit, which is why most grocery stores rarely have truly ripe peaches. Find the best specimens at a local farmer’s market and put a few day’s supply in the refrigerator, then immediately wash and freeze or preserve the rest.
When it comes to choosing peaches, color is no indicator of ripeness; every peach variety is different. A fresh, ripe peach will have a little “give” when squeezed gently and will smell like, well… like a peach. Peaches don’t ripen more once they are picked, they only get softer. If you have the chance to pick your own, go for it! Reach for specimens that come off the tree easily.